Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

By ALEXANDRA WEE, Staff Columnist

Even through wool hats and mittens, double socks, and jackets zipped chin-high, Michigan’s frosty winds can nip bitterly from nose to toes. And with the infectious winter bug that’s been roaming around, staying immune is as much of a feat as is staying warm.

Behold the solution—sweet potatoes.

The potato family, though few give its members proper credit as nutrient-packed starches and adventurously versatile vegetables, is a powerful one. Aside from their often forgotten health benefits, potatoes can be sliced, diced, baked and fried, boiled, steamed, mashed or whipped into a pie however fancied.

The best thing about the sweet potato, however, is not its bursting beta-carotene, anti-inflammatory agents or antioxidants, but its simple sweetness. Plus, to garnish things off, the sweet potato has even been named one of the top immune-boosting foods, amongst garlic, tea and Mom’s chicken noodle soup. And you thought you’d never love your vegetables.

Thanks to the Smitten Kitchen food blog—that I will forever drool over and bow down to—here is an easy way to get your sweet potato fill, kick up your body’s defense against the sniffles, and turn up the heat.

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coarsely grind coriander, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes with a mortar and pestle. Stir together spices and salt.
Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges. Toss wedges with oil and spices in a large roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 20 minutes.
Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

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